Obesity is a disease in which a large amount of body fat is included. It is not a cosmetic concern, but it is a medical disease that can cause many other chronic diseases like cardiovascular problems, diabetes, cancer, and hypertension. There are a lot of reasons that people cannot get rid of obesity.
Usually, obesity is due to genetic factors, environmental factors, exercise, and diet choices. There are some ways to prevent obesity and lose weight in an effective manner. Changes in diet, physical activities, medications, and behavioral changes can help you to lose weight.
Symptoms of Obesity
The major symptom of obesity is when your BMI (Body Mass Index) is 30 or more than 30. You can calculate your BMI by dividing your weight by your height and then multiply with 703.
- If your BMI is below 18, then you are underweight. If your BMI is between 18-25, then you are normal.
- If your BMI is between 25-25, then you are overweight.
- If your BMI is more than 30, then you are obese.
Causes of Obesity
The factors that affect body weight include genetic, metabolic, hormonal, and behavior. Obesity occurs when you take in more calories than you take out (burn calories) through exercise or physical activities. Stress is also a reason that can cause obesity.
The major cause of obesity is diet. Most diets contain too many calories, like fast foods and beverages. Obese people eat more calories before feeling full, and they always feel hungry due to anxiety and stress.
Obesity’s Link to Genetics and the Environment
Obesity has been a great concern throughout the world for some time now, with its complicated condition; obesity and overweight leading to risk factors like diabetes, hypertension, and cancers and may develop into mental issues and social stigma. With no boundaries of any kind, obesity has become an omnipresent disease now.
Genetic and Environmental Factors
Within the past four decades, the prevalence of obesity had tripled with time, which has been caused due to environmental factors, like social, political, physical, and economic factors that determine what we eat and how we stay in society. As we reside in an obesogenic environment, we show no physical activity and consume large amounts of calorie-dense foods.
About 13% of people living worldwide were said to have obesity (11% male, 15% female) in 2016. If incoming times, the rates of obesity rise continue this way, so, within 2030, about 20% and 38% of the adult population would be facing obesity and overweight. It is seen that people with obesity face more bias since they are thought to be less responsible individuals due to their condition. Proof regarding weight bias has shown that media is responsible for the stigma against weight; even still, it is common in healthcare practitioners, too, like physicians, nurses, dietitians, and mental health professionals.
This biasness still persists despite the knowledge about the tendency of some individuals to gain weight due to genetic factors than most or even deposit fat around their midsections.
“Obesity does not run in the family, but the main problem is no one runs in the family.”
Heredity factors affect everything, including our growth, physiology, and adjustment, so weight is also included in this. The answer regarding why some people is more prone to obesity than others due to genetic differences, which is shown in genetic studies. Recent studies have shown that DNA Is a basic factor regarding obesity, besides the environmental factors.
Studies say that almost up to 40-70% of obesity is inherited. So, for a beneficial weight management exercise, the knowledgeable and simple advice of eating less does not always work. The studies conducted on obesity development shows that hereditary factors and the relationship between genes and environment are important to understand obesity.
Gene Variants and Types of Obesity
When advancement in molecular biology and research of the Human Genome Project made progress, it was rendered achievable to study genetic factors related to obesity, leading to findings related to human obesity genes. A number of genes, almost a hundred, have been found that can cause obesity. Alone, they show low effects, but combined; they increase chances. Literature review based on BMI similarity and estimates of adiposity shows that genetic differences are essential in causing variations regarding human adiposity and relative body weight.
Data gathered related to genes effect on BMI obtained from 25,000 twin pairs and 50,000 biological and adoptive family members, seen in twin studies. Mean correlations determined in identical twins are 0.74, in fraternal twins are 0.32, for siblings are 0.25, for parent-offspring pairs are 0.19, adoptive relatives have 0.06, and 0.12 for spouses.
BMI (Body Mass Index)
After noting and analyzing patients having BMI of 30, different research thought of considering varying obesity types. Besides adding quality of life, survey questions also added components like age, demographics, ethnicity, physical activity, consuming alcohol, current health conditions, and smoking status.
Obese people were concluded to have subgroups, besides BMI, that had similar characteristics in the survey and were arranged as young, healthy females, alcohol-consuming males, well-off healthy elderly, satisfied elderly that are sick, troubled and distressed middle-aged, and those with bad health.
The study is based on interventions that should be aimed at subgroups versus those in the local population with obesity. Like, it would be more suitable to explain alcohol use in relation to weight management in alcohol-drinking males than to discuss it with healthy, young females. Likewise, nutritional therapy will not be required in wealthy elderly, but in those with poor health, considering whether weight loss is the prime focus or not.
How to prevent obesity?
If there is a dramatic increase in BMI and, alternatively, obesity, then many other chronic diseases can also occur. According to research, obesity is increasing globally, and the reason is stress, diet, and physical inactivity. Some of the ways are discussed in this blog you should adopt if you want to prevent obesity.
You can get rid of obesity if you follow the rules of healthy eating. Simple changes in diet can help you to lose weight and prevent obesity.
Ø Eat five times a day.
You should eat at least five to seven times a day, and your servings should include fruits and vegetables. Vegetables and fruits contain fewer calories. According to World Health Organization, people who eat fruits and vegetables on a regular basis have less chances of getting obese. They consist of essential nutrients and minerals that reduce the risk of getting insulin resistance and diabetes. They contain fiber, which prevents you from gaining weight.
Ø Avoid Processed Foods
Highly processed foods such as snacks, white bread contain empty calories and can increase your weight. According to research, people who ate processed foods having more chances of getting obese than people who do not like processed foods.
Ø Reduce Sugar Consumption
For a healthy life, it is important to reduce the intake of sugar in the diet. According to healthcare professionals, the amount of added sugar should not be more than six teaspoons a day for females and nine teaspoons a day for men. To reduce the intake of sugar, you should avoid sugary beverages, energy drinks, sodas, sports drinks, desserts, cookies, cakes, and fruit drinks.
Ø Reduce Artificial sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners can cause diabetes and obesity. You can use natural sweeteners like honey instead of artificial.
Ø Reduce saturated fats
Foods that contain saturated fats can cause obesity. You should consume healthy fats like olive oil, tree nuts, avocadoes. It is recommended to consume 20% to 35% of healthy fats daily. High saturated fats in the diet can cause chronic cardiovascular diseases, and also it can cause an increase in cholesterol levels.
Ø Drink wisely
You should drink natural water instead of beverages and sugary tea. You can also consume unsweetened tea and coffee. You should avoid energy and sports drinks.
Ø Cook at home
According to research, men and women who prefer home meals are less likely to get obese or gain weight. It also reduces the risk of getting other chronic diseases.
Ø Plant-based diet
A plant-based diet promotes overall health and reduces the risk of obesity. You should eat vegetables and fruits at every meal. You can take 1.5 ounces of snacks also like unsalted nuts, almonds, walnuts, and pistachios.
2. Eat dietary fiber
According to studies, dietary fiber plays an essential role in the maintenance of a healthy weight. People who take dietary fiber supplements daily for at least 12 weeks have fewer chances of getting obese, and they lose 5% of body weight.
According to studies and research, the average adult should do 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity every week. It means that you can do 30 minutes of physical activity five days a week or days also.
Ø The best exercise for a healthy weight
The best exercises for maintaining a healthy weight include brisk walking, running, and climbing. These exercises reduce the BMI and lower your weight and waist.
Stress and anxiety are the causes of obesity. High-stress levels can cause a disturbance in hormone cortisol levels, and it can lead to an increase in weight. A poor diet can also increase the levels of cortisol and other stress hormones. It can also increase food cravings.
You can beat the stress in many ways as you can go for a walk, you can do yoga and meditation, you can listen to the music you love, you can also do get together with your friends and family, in short, you can do things that you like.
According to research, if you have a pet, then it can also lower your blood pressure like dogs can increase your physical activity when you run with your dog.
The role of sleep-in healthy life is very crucial. Proper sleep can reduce the risk of obesity. According to healthcare professionals, it is recommended that seven or more hours of sleep is necessary for adults (more than 18 years old) and more than 10 hours for younger people and children.
Obesity prevention for Children
“The increase in childhood obesity has placed the health of the whole generation at risk.”
Prevention from obesity starts at an early age. It is necessary to help the children to maintain their healthy weight without the concerns of scale. Some of the ways that can help children to prevent obesity are:
According to the research in 2014, it is found that breastfeeding is directly related to obesity in children. Breastfeeding can reduce the risk of obesity in infants.
2. Appropriate portion size in growing children
Growing children (toddlers) do not need a large number of food portions. Kids of one to three years require only 40 calories of food. You should encourage your older child to learn about portion size.
3. Relationship with Healthy Foods
Encourage your kid to eat vegetables, fruits, and proteins at an early age. When they grow older, they will like these foods in their own diet.
4. Eat healthy foods as a Family.
By changing eating habits as a family will encourage your child to eat healthy food because he is watching you what you are eating. This will change the eating habits of children as they grow older.
5. Slowly eating
Overeating and fast eating can cause obesity when you are hungry. The excess of food remains in the body in the form of fat, and it led to obesity. You should encourage your child to eat less and slow when they are hungry. Eating slowly can improve digestion also.
6. Limit unhealthy foods in the house
If you bring unhealthy food in the home, then your kid will definitely eat it. You should stock your fridge and pantry with healthy foods and snacks.
7. Physical activities and games
According to research and WHO, children need at least sixty minutes of physical activity daily. You can do physical activities with your child and engage him in games like sports and outdoor games instead of mobile or computer gaming.
8. Enough sleep
Make sure that your child is getting enough and proper sleep. People and children who do not get proper sleep have more risk of getting obesity and other diseases. You should give your child a comfortable mattress and pillow with a sleep environment.
Why is prevention important?
Prevention from obesity plays an essential role in the overall health of humans because it is related to chronic cardiovascular diseases, and it can lead to death also. The diseases associated with obesity are:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Heart diseases
- Heart stroke
- High blood pressure
- Metabolic syndrome
- Mental health conditions
- Sleep apnea
By focusing on the prevention and changes in lifestyle can help you to prevent these chronic diseases.
“Obesity affects every aspect of the life of a human, either it is health or relationship.”